How To Start A College Essay

in College Essay Tips

There are many articles that address how important a college essay is when it comes to applying for college, and what parts of the essay you should focus on. And there are plenty of articles expressing that your essay is a conversation between you and your admissions officer. However there are not many articles on how to start a college essay.

The approach you take to a college essay should not be any different that writing a paper for class. All of the steps are the same; the only difference is that you will be writing about yourself instead of a study topic. Never before have you written an essay that will have such an impact on your future. Basically everything from high school graduation on will be determined by the essay you write; your college education, your career, and your goals are examples of what will be affected by what and how you write your essay.

There are 3 steps to follow when it comes to how to start an essay:

  • Planning
  • Drafting
  • Editing

So let’s cover the first step, planning. You will need to collect ideas that will be the core of your essay. Just remember, your essay is like a door into who you are, and is your first chance to show the admissions officer about yourself.

  • Think about what qualities you have.
  • Ask family and friends what they think your qualities are.
  • Connect your qualities to evidence.
  • Create an outline.

Now let’s look at drafting, this is actually composing your essay. There are three parts to consider when writing an essay:

  • Introduction
  • Body
  • Conclusion

There are several formats you can consider when composing your essay. Traditional formats are the safest and most common used by students. Focused is another format, this is where you focus on one interesting characteristic or event that has happened in your personal life. And then there is the story format, where you will use narration in order to portray your essay as a short story about your life. This format could be useful if the college is looking for creativity.

The final step in how to write a college essay is editing. You are writing about yourself so be as straight forward as you can with your essay, stay away from large words and clichés. When you have completed writing your first draft, you will need to go back over it and fix and errors in grammar or spelling. Making sure everything flows together and that you are presenting yourself in the manner you want. Having someone else proofread for you can be very helpful, they will have an objective opinion about your writing and may see some errors that you did not catch. You do not want to send in a college essay with grammatical errors.

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